Returning to Bosnia 7 – From Stress to Strength

We had intended to make our video on Friday after the days work, like every other day this week.

However, the day was later due to working with a mother and daughter after the days group and we both found the emotion of the week catching up with us.

I still find it hard to comprehend the enormity of what happened to so many individual here on such a scale. I have worked with stress and trauma for some years and heard some horrific stories of pain and suffering, but it is the scale of the suffering that still overwhelms me with sorry and compassion. The ongoing torture, rape, murder of loved ones over months, years… day after day.

It would be very easy to come into this situation thinking we knew best, but that simply is not the case. In order to help these people we need to listen to what they need and learn from them, understand them and feel compassion on a level that respects the way in which, for the last 20 years, they have coped with getting on with their lives despite the pain and suffering.

It is true that not everyone who experience such atrocities has PTSD. We do understand as experts what pre-disposes and people and we do have the skills to help them to release the way in which they hold the past so that they may be free from the triggers… but not until they are ready and they want to address these memories. First it is far more important to develop the self-regulation skills that give control and help people to stay present and grounded in the present moment, where the danger is no longer happening. This is our learning… the client leads the process.

‘Til next time, Sami and Caroline.

 

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